Bison Illustrated December 2019

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D EC E M B E R 2 0 1 9


The next generation of Bison athletes is here.








Oftentimes, NDSU coaches and student-athletes refer to their respective programs as "developmental". Coming to campus ready to be molded into a top-tier Division I studentathletes, the next generation of Bison is forever stocked for the future. Plenty of student-athletes are already making an impact in their field of competition as just freshmen and sophomores. It is these student-athletes that are on the rise at North Dakota State with success on the horizon.




The annual Harvest Bowl celebrated its 46th year in 2019. A football victory over Western Illinois capped off NDSU’s yearly celebration of agriculture and NDSU athletics.




We chat with junior guard Sofija Zivaljevic while playing a classic game of HORSE.


Honoring the 14 football seniors and their impact on North Dakota State.

8 Editor's Note 49 Team Makers 52 Bison Shots 57 How Well Do You Know Your Teammate 62 Interactive 68 Pop Quiz 70 Athletics Calendar 72 The Ross Report 74 Swany Says 76 Final Thoughts




BISON ILLUSTRATED d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 9


sprinting forward



Traditionally, there is not a lot of downtime in this job and there are even fewer moments to stop and appreciate what you've accomplished. We spend the entire month crafting, visualizing and executing a particular issue of Bison Illustrated. Within those broad verbs are interviews, photoshoots, design work and conceptualizing the issue as a whole. Once we send an issue to print, it's on to the next one, there is no time to dwell on our hard labor from the month before. Most months, we have 20 business days to put together this magazine, so there is rarely any time to waste. Perhaps most importantly, there are not enough moments where we look back and appreciate our previous issues. We are always moving forward.


BISON ILLUSTRATED d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 9

Over the course of this past year, I think I've done a better job of taking the occasional moment to recall Bison Illustrated in 2019. These moments may happen on my couch at home with my girlfriend and cat flanking me while endless reruns of The Office, Seinfeld or Guy's Grocery Games (Flavortown, baby!) create a soundtrack. They could happen sitting up in the press box at the Fargodome or courtside at the SHAC. I've even had moments of reflection while interviewing a student-athlete or coach. Sometimes, you just have to take a step back and recall previous successes and failures. I think it's also important (for me, at least) to understand just how I got here and how lucky I am to be at the helm of this magazine.


So when I actually look back on 2019 and the work we produced as a team here at BI, I'm in awe. We killed it down in Frisco and created another memorable Championship issue in February. We told impactful stories on student-athletes, coaches, fans and more. I got to travel all over the country with the men's basketball team in March and we created a whole issue around their NCAA Tournament run. More recently, we rolled out another killer football issue and previewed the basketball season in October. There are more moments, but I only get so many words here. Even this issue, focusing on the rising stars in NDSU athletics is a killer magazine. Thinking about the ideation process for photos, design and editorial, it still baffles me how we get here every month. I only play a small role in what you're reading right now. The true workhorses are our designers, Sarah and Christy and our photographers, Hillary and Gary. They are the people

that make this magazine so great. I am the one that comes to them at the beginning of the month with an abstract concept and demanding the world of them. They are the ones that somehow execute everything that is going on in my head. That takes talent and all of these folks have an abundance of it. And now? We put 2019 behind us and sprint towards the new year. No more time to reflect, the clock is ticking. Cheers,

P.S. I must recognize our Art Director, Sarah Geiger, who is leaving our company at the end of the year. She is the sole designer for all of our editorial content in not just Bison Illustrated, but all of our other magazines. Sarah is the reason we are so good at creating magazines and her talent truly knows no bounds. I consider it a true privilege to have worked alongside her on every magazine I’ve been a part of here. I consider it an even greater privilege to call her a friend as well. Cheers to you, your work and your future, Sarah!

DECEMBER 2019 | VOLUME 14 ISSUE 4 Bison Illustrated is a free publication distributed monthly (12 times a year). Our mission is to help promote North Dakota State University Athletics, provide a quality and fun reading experience and to improve the way of life in our community. The publication is mailed to homes across the US and has newsstand distribution throughout North Dakota and Minnesota.

Publisher EDITORIAL Editorial Director Editor Art Director Director of Photography Contributors Photographer INTERACTIVE Business Development Manager

Mike Dragosavich Andrew Jason Nolan P. Schmidt Sarah Geiger Hillary Ehlen Josh Swanson, Ross Uglem Gary Ussery Nick Schommer

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Design & Living's annual winter shopping guide is here! We are showcasing products from local shops that will help you and your loved ones stay cozy all season long. Whether you are looking to check off items from your gift-giving shopping list or you are looking for inspiration on how to decorate your home for the season, we've got you covered. Enjoy these merry and bright finds and get in the mood to be home for the holidays!

To commemorate the year 2019, we decided to shake things up a bit. Rather than taking a trip down memory lane, we wanted to recognize all of our great staff here at Spotlight! Without them, you would not be reading this magazine right now. So, get to know our staff and find out their favorite places in Fargo-Moorhead. Find out our staff picks now!

There are 2.52 million businesses in the U.S. that are owned by veterans. To encourage entrepreneurism in veterans, we mailed this magazine to 6,000 veterans across the state of ND and will take a look at some of the local companies that are owned by people who served our country and are now serving our community.

By Nolan P. Schmidt



Photos By Hillary Ehlen and Gary Ussery

Oftentimes, NDSU coaches and student-athletes refer to their respective programs as

“developmental�. Coming to campus ready to be molded into a top-tier Division I student-

athletes, the next generation of Bison is forever stocked for the future. Plenty of student-

athletes are already making an impact in their field of competition as just freshmen

and sophomores. It is these student-athletes that are on the rise at North Dakota State with success on the horizon.


The Tempest Redshirt freshman Jared Franek has his eyes set on the podium. Retaining local talent is a point of pride for Roger Kish and Bison wrestling. The top wrestlers throughout the Red River Valley (and North Dakota in general) seem to always continue their careers at North Dakota State. Currently, Kish has three native Fargoans on his roster. All of which are making a significant impact on the success of the program. Jared Franek is one of those student-athletes. The redshirt freshman is in just his second season on the campus of North Dakota State. However, he has already laid claim to the 157-pound spot for Kish and the Bison. Franek was deemed the starter before the team’s season-opening dual against Cal State Bakersfield on November 3.



Franek won the starting role over Luke Weber, who enjoyed a breakout season last year after transferring from Nebraska. The redshirt junior went 10-6 in duals last season and was performing well at the Big 12 Championships before suffering a lower-body injury. Had it not been for that, one could assume Weber would have been an NCAA Qualifier for NDSU. “Luke is a really good opponent and I wrestle with him in the room and every week we go back and forth,” Franek said about battling with Weber for the starting role. “It was definitely a challenge but I know all the hard work I put in would pay off. I just came gunning for the spot, I guess.” That is not to say Franek does not appreciate his fellow teammate. He is aware of Weber’s talent and knows

the starting role can change at any moment. However, both Franek and Weber agree that they improve one another on the mat each day. “It grows both of us, going back and forth. With that kind of talent in the room, pushing each other, we always want to one-up one another,” Franek said of training with Weber. “It gets us both a lot better and it’s going to improve both us as wrestlers and our team around us.” This ascension for Franek should come as no surprise to those who witnessed him compete for West Fargo High School. He led the Packers to two state titles and was a four-time North Dakota state champion. Franek tallied an unreal 272-14 record throughout his career as a Packer. Not only that, Franek made a splash in the national scene too. He was a USA




Wrestling Nationals freestyle champion. With fellow Packers Brandon Metz and Jesse Shearer already on the Bison roster, Roger Kish and the Bison staff were well aware of Franek’s ability. While he had offers from other schools, Franek decided to stay home. “I had a lot of different colleges talk to me and I narrowed it down to a few. I picked NDSU because I felt it fit me best and it was close to home,” he said of choosing NDSU. “So now my family can come watch, I have friends I can stay in touch with and we have a great fanbase. They have the partners and coaches here to achieve my goals and it was just an all-around good fit.” Franek, a Harwood, North Dakota, native grew up with North Dakota State all around him. Because of this, Franek puts a certain amount of importance on being a great student-athlete on and off the mat for the Bison. “Coming from such a close place to NDSU, I have so many people behind me,” Franek said. “I just want to go out there and prove to myself that I can do it. I want to show up and put on a show for all of those that have followed me and supported me.” Throughout his short career, Franek has done just that. In his redshirt season last year, he went 10-2 with three

pins, two tech falls and two major decisions. Meaning, that not only did Franek simply defeat opponents, he dominated them. Within that 10-2 record, Franek won two of the three open tournaments he competed in at 157 pounds. One might be content with that level of success as just a true freshman. However when talking with him, you will quickly learn that Jared Franek may never be content with his performance on the mat. In fact, he believes he should have gone undefeated last season. Franek used this summer to improve on his “weak” points. “I’ve seen my biggest improvements over the summer because a lot of offseason training is where you get a lot better. I noticed last year I had a few losses in my redshirt season that should not have been losses,” Franek said. “Now, having a hard summer and a good summer, I’ve noticed I’m improved both physically and mentally on the mat. It’s hopefully going to show here soon and I feel more confident when I go out there too.” This past summer of training was a challenging one for the Bison. They went most of the offseason with just head coach Roger Kish in the room. Kish was still filling out the staff around him with three assistants leaving after the season. While

“I want to show up and put on a show for all of those that have followed me and supported me.” - Jared Franek that provided a challenge for Bison wrestling, Franek believes it made the team better. “That was definitely some adversity we had to go through with coaches leaving and stuff. We all just had to come together and stay together and trust the process,” he said. “Now, we got some awesome coaches that came in and we all get along and it seems like they’ve been here a lot longer then they have been.” So far this season, Franek has proven his worth to Bison wrestling. He won his first collegiate match by decision against Cal State Bakersfield. Competing in the annual Bison Open, Franek was the tournament’s champion at 157 pounds. He won four total matches against stiff competition from Minnesota and South Dakota State. Despite a good start to the season, Franek wants to

continue to improve. “I just want to see it get better at every position and not ever give up any easy positions. I want to be able to wrestle through every position,” he said. “Everyone at this high of a level is good at each spot, so I want to be able to perfect my game and perfect my top, bottom and neutral wrestling. If I do that, I feel like I can be pretty successful.” If you know Jared Franek, you’ll understand that he will improve in those areas as his career goes on. With plenty of wrestling left to take place for the redshirt freshman, the future is certainly bright. While they may stay quiet inside the wrestling room, there is a storm brewing for the Bison. That storm is Jared Franek, and he may just destroy everything in his path to the podium.


stepping stones Thrower Akealy Moton looks to build on an already decorated NDSU track & field career. When you look at Akealy Moton's track & field career on paper, it seems very impressive. She has accomplished what many track & field athletes dream of over the course of their careers. Moton is an NDSU school record holder, an NCAA qualifier, the Summit League's Field Athlete of the Year and the Conference Championships Field MVP. Moton achieved all of that and more in just one year of competition at North Dakota State. Track & field was not even her original route into the college ranks. The sophomore originally committed to play basketball at the University of North Dakota and spent



one season in Grand Forks. North Dakota State and a career in track & field were in Moton's peripheral throughout her true freshman season at UND. Bison throws coach Justin St. Clair had recruited Moton when she was a stand out at West Fargo High School. While basketball was her original choice, one cannot help but be impressed by Moton's prep career as a Packer. She still holds the North Dakota state record in the shot put and is second in state history in the javelin. Add to that, six high school state championships and Moton is one of the most decorated athletes in the state's history. With the familiarity with St. Clair and NDSU, Moton

opted to transfer into the Bison throws program before last season. "When I knew I wasn't going to play basketball anymore at UND, I remember coach [St. Clair] always saying that if I got to that type of situation, he'd always be one call away," Moton said of her decision to transfer. "That was my next step and see what I could do in track." That choice has turned into a life-changing move for Akealy Moton. Spending much of the offseason training and learning, Moton hit the ground running in her freshman season last year. During the indoor season, she ended up throwing the shot put the third farthest in NDSU history. She was the conference's runner-




up in the event and missed qualifying for the NCAA Championships by two spots. Moton did all of this after taking an entire year off from track & field. The sophomore only elevated her performance when the outdoor season began. Not only did she qualify for the NCAA Championships in both the shot put and javelin, but she also dominated the Summit League in both events. Moton was the Summit League champion in the shot put and finished runner-up in the javelin. She captured NDSU's outdoor school shot put record at the conference meet. Moton then broke that record over the next two meets (her best sits at 57-3.5). Moton performed well on the national stage as well. She finished fifth in the shot put and 20th in the javelin. All of this success came as a surprise to many, especially considering Moton was in her first year on campus. "I was learning a lot of things and do still have a lot of things to learn. Competing in those types of atmospheres and that high of level coming from high school to college track was something that was very intense, to say the least," she said. "It was definitely a good experience and it was a lot of fun." Those performances are certainly a testament to Moton's work ethic and

drive to get better each day. It also shows just how good coach Justin St. Clair is at developing high-caliber student-athletes. While Moton was a very successful thrower in high school, she says she has improved her technique tenfold since coming to NDSU. "I've definitely improved the most in shot put. Mainly because there is more technique and more to learn about technique than in high school," she said. "Getting the basics of technique down was a big improvement for me, in my opinion." While there are certain technicalities and nuances to every throwing event, Moton finds herself at a bit of an advantage. She says shot put and javelin are similar yet different in many respects. However, her focus on technique translates well to both events, no matter what she is throwing. "Shot put and javelin are kind of related for me. I have to make sure I keep my upper body back for as long as I can when I throw both," she said. "That way, you stay long for both so they do kind of go hand in hand sometimes. That makes it a little easier on me." With just her sophomore campaign on the horizon, Moton has high aspirations. The amount of success she enjoyed last season may leave many puzzled as

"Competing in those types of atmospheres and that high of level coming from high school to college track was something that was very intense, to say the least." - Akealy Moton

to how she sets goals for 2019-20. In her mind, if she continues to learn and grow the technical side of her throwing, she'll hit higher marks as a sophomore.

incredibly raw. She admits to still having plenty to learn when it comes to throwing the shot put and javelin. That should boggle the minds of any casual viewer given her success in 2018-19.

"Personally, I want to get more of the little things down in technique. I've learned the basics to an extent, but there are still a lot of little things I need to improve on," Moton said. "I also want to go off what I have done and improve in certain distances and aspects that maybe I wasn't thinking about last season."

Yet, those marks she set last season are stepping stones to where she wants to be. Akealy Moton wants to be a repeat conference champion. She wants to be a national champion as well. Moton even hints at wanting to be an Olympian one day. Those are all stepping stones on the path to greatness.

It may sound weird, but Akealy Moton is still

Akealy Moton is just getting started on that path.


silent assassin Sophomore Tyree Eady is quietly becoming one of NDSU's most viable weapons. Tyree Eady is not the most vocal player on North Dakota State's men's basketball team. With guys like Vinnie Shahid and Tyson Ward on the roster alongside Eady, he doesn't need to be too talkative. The sophomore is more inclined to let his game do the talking when he sets foot on the floor. In his short time on campus, he is already one of Dave Richman's most dangerous weapons on both ends. However, for how quiet he is on and off the court, Eady seems to be wise beyond his years. That's usually how it goes with any human: the less talkative they are, the more noble and wise they are. Eady may not say much, but when he does speak, it comes with a great amount of depth and no shortage of



pithy one-liners. In that sense, perhaps Tyree Eady the human goes handin-hand with Tyree Eady, the basketball player. Standing 6-foot-5 and weighing in at 215 pounds, Eady possesses a near-perfect basketball frame. Couple that with an offensive skill set that features a dead-eye jumper and the ability to muscle defenders down low and you have a recipe for success. Eady was a standout for Middleton High School in Wisconsin, scoring 1,248 points in three seasons. He was named to the All-State team as a senior as well. Taking a redshirt year in 2017-18, Eady used that season to develop the frame you see now. Regarded as one of the strongest players on the roster, the sophomore has

used that to his advantage as time has gone on. Strength is not the only thing Eady has improved upon at NDSU either, he says his basketball IQ has grown immensely. "I definitely have more confidence and my IQ towards the game. When you come from high school, you think you know a lot about the game, but you really don't. When you come to college, you learn more about defensive tendencies, how to scout for people, where to be at a certain time and stuff like that," Eady said. "Also, confidence and being able to play with the best of the best. We do play the best of the best at NDSU, every day you have to bring your best." That showed on the floor last season where Eady was one of NDSU's breakout stars. He averaged six points a game




"I've never really been the type of person including eight games where he scored in double figures. While he provided a valuable scoring threat off the bench, it was Eady's efficiency in 2018-19 that was most impressive. He shot an unreal 49 percent from the field last year along with 41 and 91 percent clips from long range and the charity stripe. Eady's versatility, thanks in large part to his frame and skill, were also on full display last season and continue to be a focus point for the sophomore. "When I get on the court, I want to be versatile because when you're versatile, it's hard to take you off the court. You can guard one through five and play one through five," Eady said. "I was always told that was the best way to be an all-around player and my goal is to be an all-around player. I want to rebound, defend, make shots, come off ball screens, pass and I want to be that all-around player. I want to do whatever it takes for my team to win." While the casual fan may not notice how important Eady is to NDSU's success, he almost prefers it that way. He has never been the type of player to seek out attention. Instead, he quietly goes about his business and flies under the radar. "I've never really been the type of person that really wanted that limelight or the spotlight. I kind of keep to myself and stay even keel,

but I feel like my game speaks for itself," he said. "I fit in well a lot with others and I feel like my game is really good in my own way." That is a mindset the entire NDSU men's team has adopted. Last season, the Bison shocked many in the Summit League by winning the conference tournament and taking the conference's auto-bid to the NCAA Tournament. Following a 2-7 start to the season, Eady and the Bison knew everyone was writing them off.

that really wanted that limelight or the spotlight. I kind of keep to myself and stay even keel, but I feel like my game speaks for itself." - Tyree Eady

"Coach always tells us to work in the dark and let our game shine for itself. Last year we did that. We were 2-7, but we kept on working and eventually we were Summit League champions," he said. "To embrace that role as a team and work our hardest in the dark, we hope our game shines through."

mind and that is to repeat and do more things in the tournament," he said. "We're focused on that and working hard to get there and not the outside noise. We know what we need to do to win and that we have the ability to win against really good teams. It's just about putting those pieces together and putting the product out there."

Fast forward to this season, where the narrative has changed. North Dakota State was picked to win the conference in the preseason. The storyline surrounding this team is now "how far can they go?" rather than "will they even compete in the Summit League?". Eady says the team's mindset has yet to change and probably won't be altered anytime soon.

So far, Eady is averaging nearly seven points per game in 2019-20. He has continued his habit of efficiency as well, shooting 40 percent from the floor through seven games. While the season is still quite young and the Bison have plenty of room for growth, Eady already knows where he wants to see himself improve.

"Personally, it's all about staying with my teammates and staying humble. Bigger expectations lead to bigger heads, but I think all of us really have a goal in

"I definitely want to be a more all-around as a player. Last year, I shot a lot of threes and was more of a spot-up guy. I feel like this year, I'm able to do a lot more in guarding one through five,

rebounding more and being a more fluid passer," Eady said. "It's also about being a winner and making winning plays. That's diving on the floor, getting a rebound, closing out and making a big stop. I just want to be a guy that makes winning plays." It's hard to deny that Tyree Eady is already making winning plays for North Dakota State on a nightly basis. Yet, there is more to Eady than meets the eye, both on the floor and off it. Thanks to his demeanor and hushed nature, he has become a bit of a mysterious figure to many. However, when you do get him talking, you'll be pleasantly surprised at how intelligent and succinct Eady is with his words. The same can be said about Tyree Eady as a basketball player. It is with those qualities that the sophomore is becoming a silent weapon for Bison men's basketball.


built for this Football is still new to Bartholomew Ogbu, but the sophomore is poised for stardom at NDSU. When you stop and learn about where Bartholomew Ogbu has been in his short life, it might amaze you. The mere fact that the sophomore defensive end is playing football for North Dakota State is remarkable in its own right. Football was something Ogbu never dreamed of playing even five years ago. Even now, he is still learning the game at its most basic level at times and he has proven to be one of the best pure athletes the school has ever seen. However, it did not happen overnight for Ogbu. While he is new to the game, he is also a relative newcomer to the United States too. That combination has led to an eventful four years for the Shiloh Christian School product. It began with a decision to move to America in 2014. That decision has proven to be the most pivotal in Ogbu's life to this point. Born and raised in Nigeria, Ogbu was in search of a better education as his high 30


school years dawned. That, coupled with increasing political tensions in Nigeria, led to Ogbu's parents sending their son to Bismarck, North Dakota. Sports were an afterthought for Ogbu at the time. Boko Haram, a religious extremist group operating throughout northern Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon is noted for several campaigns of violence throughout northern Africa. The Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria is responsible for almost 52,000 deaths alone. On top of that, 2.4 million Nigerians have been internally displaced because of Boko Haram. "Back home in Nigeria with all the political crises that went on during that time, the Boko Haram issue, coming to America was something my parents thought was the best option for me," Ogbu said. "Going to a place where I can feel safe and have an opportunity to have an education. Sports became part of that whole deal, but

my parents were just looking for a place where I can have a better education and better opportunities in life." Ogbu, who goes by Batty or Barty, ultimately ended up enrolling at Shiloh Christian School in Bismarck. Coming to America alone and just 16, Ogbu lived with the school's superintendent upon arriving in America. Ogbu then lived with Shiloh's head boy's basketball coach for the remainder of his high school years. He still stays in close contact with those in Bismarck that helped him succeed at Shiloh. And succeed he did. Ogbu was introduced to football in his sophomore year at Shiloh and was also a stalwart on the basketball team. A natural athlete, Ogbu jumped out to coaches despite not knowing the finer schematic details of either sport. While he was recruited to play basketball in college, Ogbu was heavily sought after by college football coaches. North Dakota State was intrigued by Ogbu and




their commitment to his recruitment led to Ogbu committing to the Bison. "Mainly, I was recruited more in football than basketball and also, the relationship I had with the coaching staff during the recruiting process. A lot of coaches were talking to me, but NDSU was different," he said. "I saw a commitment from the coaches when they would come to my games and stand on the sidelines during the winter. I felt that this might be the path for me." Ogbu came to Fargo with just two full years of football experience under his belt. While he was still incredibly raw on the field and had plenty to learn, his natural ability was eye-popping. Next, a year in the Bison redshirt program where true freshmen live in the weight room with coach Jim Kramer. Upon his initial recruitment, Ogbu weighed anywhere between 205 and 210 pounds. Ogbu will likely define himself as "scrawny" when he came to campus in the summer of 2018. In just one full year in the Bison redshirt program, Ogbu gained almost 30 pounds of pure muscle. He is listed at 241 pounds on the 2019 football roster. "The biggest change was during that first redshirt year and going into the summer with coach Kramer. The lead into the fall where we have developmental lifts and that helped me maximize my time in the weight room," he said of his redshirt year. "I also had to focus on eating healthy and that is something coach Kramer always preaches to us. He has helped me a lot in getting stronger. When I came here, I looked like I was fit, but I wasn't fit so working with coach Kramer for a year helped me a lot in working on my endurance

and building some muscle mass too." Not only did Ogbu have to change his body, but he had to grow as a defensive end as well. Over the course of this past offseason, Ogbu has begun to understand the game a bit better. As time goes on, the game will continue to slow down for the sophomore. "The game has been slowing down for me. I'm learning how to play the game from the mental side of things. Also, this past fall the biggest improvement was being able to get off in pass rush," Ogbu said of his growth as a player. "That was the biggest thing coach Buddha [Williams] was talking about in fall camp and even now too. The biggest improvement is still just understanding the game and learning how to play the game and playing it the right way fundamentally." Much of his evolution as a player can be attributed to Greg Menard and Derrek Tuszka. Menard graduated last season and Tuszka is in his senior season. Both are two of the best defensive ends in school history. Those two figures have helped Ogbu learn quicker. "Greg Menard last year was more of an aggressive leader and he would try to get the 'mean' part of you out," Ogbu said with a laugh. While he is a physically imposing figure, Ogbu has a heart of gold. "Derrek Tuszka is a great leader. Every day I look up to him and I try to practice like he practices. He does it the right way and I look up to him and try to imitate what he does on and off the field. He has been a great leader to me and to everyone in that room." Ogbu was listed as a back-up defensive end on the initial depth chart this season. He

" I started playing football as a sophomore and now I'm playing Division I, that's something I never dreamed about. I'm grateful every day to have this opportunity to play for NDSU." Bartholomew Ogbu played in four games, making three total tackles and a tackle for loss. Unfortunately, Ogbu suffered an ankle injury against UC Davis on September 21 that has hampered his season. While he is working to get back as soon as possible, it may not be until the FCS playoffs. "When this injury happened, I felt really bad, but it's football, injuries happen. When it happened, I told Bobby [Knodel] that I'll be back in a week. I didn't know how bad it was initially, but I just want to get back. I'm excited because I still have a couple of weeks left in the boot, then I start running," Ogbu said of the injury. "I asked coach Buddha 'if I get ready and I'm back, are you going to play me?' and he said 'get ready'. I just want to get back there with my brothers. It's a lot different on the sideline watching them. I cheer them on and support them, but being out there with them is a lot different than standing on the sidelines." While he still has to take the right steps to recover, Ogbu knows where he wants to improve when he does get back on the field. "I want to be able to recognize the backfield. That was something that made me

slow down a bit when I was playing. So, I just have to recognize the backfield and anticipate what I'm getting from the offense," he said. "If I can read the block I'm getting from the tackle and recognize the backfield, it will help me play faster. That will be something I'll have to work on over the course of the summer and beyond." When he does get back, the foundation is there for Bartholomew Ogbu. He has proven himself a valuable and generational talent at defensive end. That is something he could have never imagined growing up in Nigeria. It took him coming to America to find football and he has never looked back since. Ogbu himself sums it up perfectly when asked if he ever imagined himself playing college football when he came to America in 2014. "To be honest, no. I don't know how to put it but it is something I never dreamt about. I started playing football as a sophomore and now I'm playing Division I, that's something I never dreamed about," he said. "I'm grateful every day to have this opportunity to play for NDSU. I'm just grateful to be in this position." 33

The rise recap We have not done a RISE issue since April of 2017. We take a look back at that issue and tell you how those student-athletes are doing now.



Cam Sykora Wrestling Now a redshirt senior for Roger Kish and Bison wrestling, Sykora is one of the most valuable pieces on the mat for NDSU. Since transferring to NDSU from South Dakota State, Sykora has qualified for the NCAA Tournament three times at 133 pounds. Not only that, the Wheaton, Minnesota, native is always among the best in the NCAA in technical falls.

tyson ward Men’s Basketball Ward, now a senior, is one of the Summit League’s top talents for Dave Richman and the Bison men. The Tampa, Florida, native was a key centerpiece in NDSU’s remarkable run to the NCAA Tournament last year. He has steadily increased his points and rebounds per game as well as his overall field goal percentage. One cannot discuss Ward without mentioning his abilities as a team leader too. On November 7 against Mayville State, Ward became the 35th Bison basketball player to surpass 1,000 career points.


mariah haberle Soccer One of Bison soccer’s brightest talents, Haberle concluded her soccer career in Fargo in November. In her senior season, Haberle scored three goals and accumulated seven total points. In 2018, Haberle scored seven goals and was named to the All-Summit League First Team. She will go down as one of the best forwards in school history.

macy denzer Women’s Track & Field The Watertown, South Dakota, product is entering her final year of competition for Bison track & field. In her junior season, Denzer was the Summit League champion in the indoor pentathlon. During the outdoor season, she finished third at the conference meet in the heptathlon and javelin. She set a school record shuttle hurdle relay last outdoor season as well.



Ryan Enerson Men’s Track & Field Enerson has since graduated from NDSU and moved into the professional sphere. During his senior season last year, he was the Summit League champion in the indoor heptathlon. That victory was Enerson’s third time winning the conference heptathlon crown. Enerson was the Summit League runner-up in both the decathlon and 110-meter hurdles during the outdoor season too.



Harvest Bowl The annual Harvest Bowl celebrated its 46th year in 2019. A football victory over Western Illinois capped off NDSU’s yearly celebration of agriculture and NDSU athletics.


hat is the Harvest Bowl?

Harvest Bowl celebrates excellence in agriculture and North Dakota State University athletics. Through its proud history, a major contribution of North Dakota State University is its leading work involving agriculture across the Upper Midwest, nation and world. Those historic ties to agriculture led to the creation of a distinctive

event at NDSU – the Harvest Bowl Ag Recognition program. Harvest Bowl started in 1973 through the efforts of NDSU potato geneticist Bob Johansen and NDSU athletic director Ade Sponberg. The event recognizes the efforts of leading agriculturists and the impact the industry has on the area. Harvest Bowl promotes agriculture as it honors individuals and commodity groups. A special agribusiness award goes to a person with a distinguished career in

agriculture and business. Harvest Bowl recognizes outstanding student-athletes, and also encourages alumni and friends to support scholarships toward the education of young men and women in all areas of academic life. Since its humble beginning more than four decades ago, Harvest Bowl has become a prominent annual NDSU tradition. There are a host of scholarships awarded to NDSU studentathletes each year during the Harvest Bowl.


Harvest Bowl Scholarship Recipients Patrick Benedict Memorial Harvest Bowl Scholarship Endowment

Gene Dahl Scholarship

Recipient: Austin Brenner

Class: Junior Hometown: Alexandria Minn. Major: Agribusiness Sport: Baseball

Class: Freshman Hometown: St. Cloud, Minn. Major: Exercise Science Sport: Wrestling

John and Kay Dean Harvest Bowl Scholarship Recipient: Tyler Enerson Class: Sophomore Hometown: Grand Forks, N.D. Major: Agricultural Economics Sport: Track & Field



Recipient: Jacob Drew

Glenn and Alice Strouse Ellingsberg Harvest Bowl Scholarship Recipient: Akealy Moton Class: Sophomore Hometown: West Fargo, N.D. Major: Animal Science Sport: Track & Field

Scott and Ann Dau Family Scholarship Recipient: Bailey Retzlaff Class: Senior Hometown: Carrington, N.D. Major: Agriculture Education Sport: Track & Field

Farmer’s National Harvest Bowl Scholarship Recipient: Karson Schoening Class: Junior Hometown: Rolla, N.D. Major: Crop And Weed Science Sport: Football

Gooseneck Implement/ Green Iron Equipment Harvest Bowl Scholarship Recipient: Rylee Nudell Class: Senior Hometown: Buffalo, N.D. Major: Elementary Education And Human Development And Family Science Sport: Basketball

Harvest Bowl Scholarship Recipient: Bryan Nohava Class: Freshman Hometown: Hawarden, Iowa Major: General Agriculture Sport: Football

Harvest Bowl Scholarship in honor of Robert Johansen Recipient: Kirstin Tidd Class: Sophomore Hometown: Verona, Wisc. Major: Agricultural Economics Sport: Volleyball

Bob Lauf Memorial Scholarship Recipient: Derrek Tuszka Class: Senior Hometown: Warner, S.D. Major: Crop and Weed Sciences with a Minor in Agribusiness, Biological Sciences and Natural Resource Management. Sport: Football

Richard and Kelly Sager Harvest Bowl Endowment Recipient: Cam Sykora Class: Senior Hometown: Wheaton, Minn. Major: Sports Management Sport: Wrestling



Myron and Muriel Johnsrud HB Endowment Recipient: Garret Wegner Class: Junior Hometown: Lodi, Wisc. Major: Food Science Sport: Football

Nipstad Family Athletic Scholarship Endowment Recipient: Jackson Hankey Class: Sophomore Hometown: Park River, N.D. Major: Agricultural Economics Sport: Football

Titan Machinery Scholarship Recipient: Spencer Waege Class: Sophomore Hometown: South Shore, S.D. Major: General Agriculture Sport: Football

LeVon C. Kirkeide and Friends Harvest Bowl Scholarship Recipient: Connor Wendel Class: Junior Hometown: Carrington, N.D. Major: Agribusiness Sport: Track & Field

Ron and Karen Offutt Scholarship Recipient: Isaac Huber Class: Freshman Hometown: Jud, N.D. Major: Exercise Science Sport: Track & Field

#64 Bob Yaggie and #58 Bruce Yaggie Father – Son Football Scholarship Recipient: Cordell Volson Class: Junior Hometown: Balfour, N.D. Major: General Agriculture Sport: Football

Darrell Larson Family Scholarship Recipient: Garrett Malstrom Class: Senior Hometown: Vergas, Minn. Major: Business Administration (Masters) Sport: Football

Red River Commodities Scholarship Recipient: Dan Stibral Class: Senior Hometown: Tabor, S.D. Major: Agricultural Systems Management Sport: Wrestling

Bob and Darlene Yaggie Football Scholarship Recipient: Dimitri Williams Class: Senior Hometown: Lakeville, Minn. Major: Economics Sport: Football

shooting hoops with sofija zivaljevic


e chat with junior guard Sofija Zivaljevic while playing a classic game of HORSE.

INTERVIEW BY Nolan P. Schmidt PHOTOS BY Gary Ussery

It was balmy 20 degrees as I stepped outside my car in the parking lot of the Sanford Health Athletic Complex. Usually, I’m reaching to my passenger seat for my camera bag and the backpack that houses my computer. On this November afternoon, I was reaching for my gym bag. Odd as it sounds, I would be the one competing inside the SHAC whereas I normally cover those who compete for North Dakota State. Today, I would be competing in the game of all games: HORSE. My opponent? Bison women’s basketball’s Sofija Zivaljevic. The junior guard has shown great talent in her short time at North Dakota State. She transferred from Iowa State ahead of the 2018-19 season, forcing her to miss eight games last fall.


BISON ILLUSTRATED d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 9

Since joining the team in January of last year, she has provided a floor generaltype weapon for the Bison. A skillful ball-handler and passer, Zivaljevic has a certain knack for the point guard position. Couple that with her adept ability to drive through the lane and you have a recipe for success. It has not all been a walk in the park, though. Zivaljevic played most of last year in non-basketball shape, something she willingly admits. So far in her junior campaign, she seems to be in physical shape to handle the grind of a full season. However, can she handle the grind of facing off with me in HORSE? Upon entering the SHAC’s practice gym, Zivaljevic admits to me that she is “horrible” at HORSE. Obviously, I was going to let her game do the talking in that sense. Not only would we be going toe-totoe on the floor, but we also had the tough questions. We asked Zivaljevic about growing up in Montenegro, her basketball upbringing and we share a nerd out about the Yugoslavian men’s national team.

sofija nil nolan h BI: You’re originally from Montenegro. What was different about growing up in Europe compared to maybe an American experience? SZ: It was really nice. Obviously, at that point, I didn’t really know of anything else so everything was pretty much normal for me over there as it is for you guys here. What I do notice from living here for four years now, we spent more time outside. We play with each other and it’s freer if that makes sense. There is more free time because daily schedules are different. So you can get done with school at like 1 or 2 p.m. and then you’re pretty much free for the rest of your day. From there, you’d go to the playground and play with your friends. I just remember playing a lot of games with friends, even if it was basketball or

hide and seek, even soccer too. Soccer is really big in the other part of the world and not so much here...

sofija h nolan h BI: Where did basketball come from then? I know it was around, but there are other popular sports in Montenegro like soccer, volleyball and water polo even. SZ: Basketball is pretty big too. Besides water polo, we’ve won an Olympics Silver medal in women’s handball in 2012. We won the European championship in water polo too and we are successful in some of those sports. Basketball is also very big in our country too. This year, we were the first and the smallest country to ever make it to the World Cup, men’s basketball-wise. Women’s basketball-wise, we’ve made

every European championship since 2011 which is pretty big knowing how small a country we are. As far as me playing basketball, I watched a lot of basketball on TV as a kid. My father is a sports journalist so he watched a lot of basketball because it was his job. I was just sitting next to him, watching it with him and I asked him to take me to a basketball practice one day.

sofija h nolan ho BI: And was it basketball that brought you to America in the first place? SZ: Basketball was the reason I came here. We don’t really have high school teams back home, only clubs. Once you’re done with high school, you have to make the decision if you want to continue playing professionally or if you want to go to school. It is very hard to do both at the same time. I also played for my national team and there are a lot of college coaches that follow those competitions. I got recruited from Iowa State and that is how I ended

up there. I saw college basketball as a great opportunity to get my degree and to continue to develop myself as a basketball player.

sofija ho nolan ho BI: When I talk to players from overseas, they always comment on how different the game is in America compared to Europe. What is your take on that? SZ: I might contradict myself here, but players are physically better but the game is slower in America. Because of the shot clock and the way it’s played, back home the shot clock is 24 seconds long and it’s not as structured. For example, if you get a defensive rebound as a point guard, you just push the ball and go. Obviously, the defense is not as strict and the paint is not as crowded. There is more space to drive in the lane and make plays, but it is very different. I would just say slower and stricter, it’s not as free. That probably makes sense because you can find players between the ages of 18 and 22 here and that is the time when you learn to be fundamentally sound.

sofija ho nolan hor BI: Since coming to America, where have you seen the biggest improvement in your game? SZ: I’ve improved physically for sure. Lifting is very big here, which we don’t really do in Europe. Getting a chance to work on my body is huge. When it 46

BISON ILLUSTRATED d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 9

comes to skill, I think I’ve improved in everything. From ball handling, passing and shooting, I’ve tried to improve in every part of my game. I’ve maybe gotten better in my ball-handling than my shooting, but I think I’ve made jumps in every single category.

sofija ho nolan hors BI: You talked about watching basketball on TV with your dad. When you were watching the game growing up, which player did you try and model your game after? SZ: His name is Miloš Teodosić, he is a Serbian basketball player, a point guard. He played for the Clippers two years ago and now he’s back in Europe. I always loved him and the way he played. He was very fun to watch, but he’s probably not the best ever but he’s the one that I loved.

sofija hor nolan hors BI: Now, there are so many Balkan players in the NBA. Who do you think is the best native Montenegrin to play in the league? Is it Nikola Vucevic or Nikola Mirotic?

SZ: Vucevic is probably the best one. Mirotic is from Montenegro, but he doesn’t play on our national team. Vucevic is probably the best one ever to come out of Montenegro NBA wise because he has made it to the All-Star game and stuff. There was a guy who played for the Timberwolves too... BI: Nikola Pekovic SZ: Yeah! He was really good, but he got hurt and he just decided to not play anymore.

sofija hors nolan hors BI: I find the history behind European basketball so fascinating. I mean, Montenegro was formerly a part of Yugoslavia and they had some national teams back in the late 80s, early 90s that were some of the best in the world. Do people in Montenegro still hold those Yugoslavian teams with Vlade Divac and Drazen Petrovic and...

SZ: That was the ultimate team. Everyone is still sad that we never got a chance to go to the Olympics in 1992. That was in the middle of the war. BI: Because they had won a Silver medal in 1988. SZ: Right and that team in 1992 was supposed to beat the American Dream Team. Unfortunately, because of the situation in the country, they never got a chance to play together. Then, the country fell apart. Those teams, not only in basketball but every single sport, if that country would have stayed together, it would probably be one of the most successful countries in any sport. I just think all those countries have very talented athletes.

sofija horse nolan hors BI: Where do you want to see yourself improve on the floor over the course of this season and into your senior year?

SZ: Toni Kukoc! BI: Yeah! Do they still hold them in high regard when it comes to basketball?

SZ: I just think I need to be more consistent and not have those mental lapses and ups and downs. I want to stay solid and focused on what my coaches want me to do and help the team achieve the results we want. Whether it’s a play on the offensive end or the defensive end, I want to make good decisions and be more consistent. There is no shame in losing a game of HORSE to a magazine editor, I 100 percent got lucky. No lie, I banked in a baseline three (seriously, how is that a thing) and made a near halfcourt shot. Those aren’t shots Zivaljevic practices and again, I got lucky. Put us in a oneon-one game and she beats me 11-0, no questions asked. But on this day, I’ll revel in the victory.

Team makers on the road In an effort to establish more watch sites and gain more members, Team Makers hit the road to some of their out-of-area watch sites.


any of you who read this publication are familiar with Team Makers watch sites in the Red River Valley. Chances are, you have watched a Bison football game at a local restaurant or bar in FargoMoorhead. What if you’re out of town? Or, what if you live outside the Fargo-Moorhead area? Thankfully, Team Makers has watch sites all over the country. From Minneapolis to Arizona, you can watch the Bison anywhere thanks to Team Makers watch sites. Recently, Team Makers went to visit their various watch sites in the Twin Cities and in Arizona. This was done to try and establish more watch sites in that area and fulfill their ultimate goal, more members.



If you’re in a bind outside of th e FargoMoorhead ar ea and need to watch the Bison game, find one of th ese spots.

Erik the Red

Fun fact: I have watched a few Bison games at Erik The Red. Both times, I was met with great service and plenty of rowdy Bison fans. Erik The Red is right across the street from US Bank Stadium and offers everything from beer, wine and spirits to hand-crafted food dishes. They even set aside a private area for Bison fans during the game. Erik The Red 601 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis


LynLake Brewery

What once a theater has been transformed into a local brewery in the heart of Downtown Minneapolis. If you enjoy craft beer, solid food and the Bison, this is a place to try for your next watch party. LynLake Brewery 2934 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis

Joe Senser’s Kitchen & Bar Bloomington

A classic American dining experience, Joe Senser’s is a place to gather and cheer on the Bison together. Accompany that with a brew, burger and fries. That’s heaven, right? Joe Senser’s Kitchen & Bar Bloomington 4217 American Blvd W, Bloomington




Team Makers Golf Is Coming To The Twin Cities!

RT O’Sullivan’s Sports Grill

Great eats with a classic Irish pub feel. Make sure you check out RT O’Sullivan’s for a taste of home. RT O’Sullivan’s Sports Grill 6646 E Superstition Springs Blvd, Mesa, Ariz.

Thanks to the tremendous success of Team Makers Golf Outings throughout North Dakota during the summer, the group is expanding its reach. For the first time ever, Team Makers will host a summer golf outing in the Twin Cities. With the biggest alumni base stationed in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, it only made sense for Team Makers to host an outing there. This will hopefully be followed by several golf outings at courses across the Twin Cities metro. See the information below on the first Twin Cities golf outing.


Bison Golf Open June 1 Bent Creek Golf Club Eden Prairie, Minn. For more information on all of Team Makers summer golf outing, visit

Kappy’s Bar & Sandwich place

Burgers, sandwiches and Mexican food? I think you’ll want to check out Kappy’s if you are out West. Kappy’s Bar & Sandwich Place 2190 N Wilmot Road, Tuscon, Ariz.

JJ Madisons

A classic All-American grill and bar, JJ Madisons prides itself on being a great neighboorhood spot to watch the Bison. JJ Madisons 430 N Power Road, Mesa, Ariz.





enior forward Tyson Ward looks to drive to the basket against a defender in a November 7 game against Mayville State. In what was the team’s home opener, the Bison routed the Comets 93-53. Ward scored 21 points in the victory and became the 35th men’s basketball player to eclipse 1,000 career points.

Photo by Nolan P. Schmidt

Want to contribute? Email your best photos to:


BISON ILLUSTRATED d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 9




unior forward Emily Dietz shoots a jump shot from the freethrow line during a November 10 game against Northern Illinois. Dietz finished this contest with 21 points and 13 rebounds, her second career double-double. The West Fargo native’s 13 rebounds were a new career-high.

Photo by Nolan P. Schmidt

Want to contribute? Email your best photos to:


BISON ILLUSTRATED d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 9


behnke uld What wo y? emily sa


ogether, North Dakota State is building the foundation for greatness in 2019-20. Part of that greatness lies in the future of the program. Emily Behnke is sure to play a huge role in this program's ascent as will her teammates Nicole Scales and Olivia Skibiel. We put the freshmen to the test this month to see just how well they know Behnke.





Gingerbread cookies

Gingerbread cookies during the holiday seasons but that does not diminish her love for sugar cookies.

Sugar Cookies

2. Are you a ham or turkey person during the Holidays?


Definitely a turkey person.


3. What movie or TV show do you find yourself quoting all the time in the locker room?

Napoleon Dynamite

She is more likely to be caught quoting any and every sound from Tik Tok.

Tik Tok videos

4. On a scale of 1-10, how good of a winter driver are you?

I’d like to say a solid 8/10

I would give her an 8.

Solid 5

Listen to music

She would rather listen to music over and over again before she decides to pick up a book in her leisure time.

Listen to music


I would describe her jumper as scarce, she doesn't like to shoot very much.


Rudy Gobert

I would describe her game to Andre Drummond, a good rebounder but not really looking for her shot too often.

Kristaps Porzingis



1. Best Holiday delicacy: Sugar cookies or Gingerbread cookies

5. Would you rather read a book or listen to music?

6. Use one word to describe your jumper...

7. If you could compare your game to one pro player, who would it be?




Free Safety

Hometown: Belleville, Illinois

Dimitri Williams Running Back


BISON ILLUSTRATED d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 9

Hometown: Lakeville, Minnesota

Jaxon Brown Linebacker

Hometown: Eau Claire, Wisconsin

James Hendricks Free Safety

Hometown: Bemidji, Minnesota

Photos By Bruce Crummy, Hillary Ehlen, Tim Sanger/NDSU and Ric Kruszynski/NDSU

Dom Davis

Honoring the 14 football seniors and their impact on North Dakota State.

Tre Fort Cornerback

Hometown: Moorhead, Minnesota

Jimmy Kepouros Wide Receiver

Hometown: Lemont, Illinois

Marquise Bridges Cornerback

Hometown: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Ty Brooks Running Back

Hometown: Fargo, North Dakota 59

Garrett Malstrom Fullback

Hometown: Vergas, Minnesota

Zack Johnson Offensive Guard


BISON ILLUSTRATED d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 9

Hometown: Blaine, Minnesota

Cole Karcz Defensive Tackle

Hometown: Germantown, Wisconsin

Ben Ellefson Tight End

Hometown: Hawley, Minnesota

Derrek Tuszka Defensive End

Hometown: Warner, South Dakota

Jack Darnell Defensive Tackle

Hometown: Champlin, Minnesota

bison crossing

o g e w e r e h & gold green

Across 3. This West Fargo native was an NCAA Qualifier in the hammer throw and shot put last year. 6. This distance runner was a Summit League champion in cross country this season. 8. This Bison goaltender was named to the All-Summit League Second Team this season.

Down 1. One of two Florida natives, this Bison hooper transferred to Fargo in the offseason. 2. This 133-pounder is a three-time NCAA Qualifier. 4. One of the many Bison in the NFL, this offensive lineman plays for the Indianapolis Colts. 5. Once the men’s golf coach, this women’s golf coach is in his 10th year at the helm. 7. This NDSU kicker is the only Ohio native on the roster .



BISON ILLUSTRATED d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 9



wordsearch Can you find these “Rise� student-athletes in the mix?

Eady Moton Ogbu Franek Cobbins

Harden-Hayes Lance Tanchin Douglass Vargas


trivia question1 In which year did Bison baseball set the school record for wins in a season?

A. 2013 B. 2011 C. 2012 D. None Of The Above

question2 NDSU great Lance Berwald holds the school’s record for field goal percentage in a game. What was his record-setting field goal percentage? A. 100 percent B. 89 percent

BISON ILLUSTRATED d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 9

D. 97 percent



Only two NDSU players have rushed for over 4,000 yards in a career. Which former Bison rushed for over 4,000 yards and is a member of the Bison Athletic Hall of Fame?

Former wrestler Mike Langlais holds the school record for wins with 151. At which weight did he wrestle?

A. John Crockett B. Lamar Gordon C. Kyle Steffes D. Tony Satter


C. 91 percent

A. 165 pounds B. 174 pounds C. 149 pounds D. 142 pounds


true or false Track great Erin Teschuk still holds the indoor school records for the mile, 3,000 and 5,000-meter runs?

Holding a record that may never be eclipsed, Shelly Rein hit 53 home runs in her NDSU softball career.

question7 How many 1,000-point scorers has the women’s basketball team had throughout it’s illustrious history?

A. 34 B. 33 C. 35 D. 40


A. 2,092 B. 2,091 C. 2,094 D. 2,093

true or false

5. B 6. True 7. B 8. True

Janet Cobbs still holds the school record for most career kills. How many kills did Cobbs rack up?


1. C 2. A 3. B 4. D



Nick Knutson


Knutson has been a true utility wrestler in his time on campus. In his freshman season two years ago, he wrestled at 165, 174 and 184 pounds over the course of the season. Last year, Knutson was exclusively wrestling at 157 pounds where he went 9-10 overall with one pin.

Which family Holiday tradition do you cherish most?

If I’m not cutting weight, bellying up on the couch after a big Thanksgiving meal to watch some football is pretty hard to beat.

What is your one tip to surviving the winter?

Always keep a snow scraper handy in your car.

Kari Wolfe


Wolfe has been a revelation for Justin St. Clair and Bison throws in the javelin in her two years on campus. As a true freshman, she was ranked 23rd nationally in the event. Last year, Wolfe was the Summit League champion in the javelin and was ranked 19th nationally. As outdoor track & field season approaches, look for Wolfe to be one of the stalwarts in the javelin.

The German chocolate turkey-shaped cake on every Thanksgiving

Watching every Hallmark movie is a must

I love Christmas Eve, when all the family gets together and we play Secret Santa. I miss them so much!

Coffee. No matter what day of the week, sitting next to the window with a cup of coffee and watching the snow fall, best way to start your day.

Having the whole family go to my grandparents for Easter dumplings

Two words - jumper cables

Favorite tradition would be waking up on Christmas morning to my dad playing his Christmas song on the stereo.

I’m still trying to figure that out. Coming from Florida we don’t have winter, but my tip would probably be don’t go outside.

Raquel Terrer Van Gool


Originally from Zaragoza, Spain, Van Gool is getting her first action as a Bison in 2019-20. She suffered a knee injury last season that forced her to take a redshirt year. However, she has shown the ability to score in bunches in the time she has played for Jory Collins this year. Look for Van Gool to be a deadly offensive weapon in the near future for NDSU.

Cody Mauch


Mauch has been increasingly active in the Bison offensive line group as both a traditional offensive tackle and a tight end too. In fact, Mauch oftentimes has to switch jersey numbers at halftime if he knows he'll play on the line in the second half. Whether you see number 70 or number 88, Mauch is a talent NDSU is excited about for the future.

Tyler Witz


Transferring from Olney Central College in Illinois, Witz provides a big body in the middle for Dave Richman. While he possesses the ability to back down opponents down low, his soft touch and quick feet make him an all-encompassing big man. He is an invaluable bench presence for the Bison men.


The best Holiday-themed song ever is...

You’re a mean one Mr. Grinch

“Do you want to build a snowman?” and “Let it Go” from Frozen

All I want for Christmas is you. Period. No discussion.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Andy Williams (it’s always the right time to listen to Christmas music).

Rock and Roll Christmas.

Would you rather shovel a driveway or dig your car out after a snowstorm?

How did you get your nickname?

It depends how big the snowstorm was but probably shovel the driveway.

In high school, a bunch of my buddies thought it was funny to call me “Todd” and I’m not really sure why but it’s stuck ever since. It’s my dad's name and also my middle name. Now I honestly get referred to as Todd more than my actual name.

Shovel a driveway for sure

Karebear, I received this nickname in grade school from the boys in my class who would sing a chant about it at recess.

Dig my car out, because you never know if it’s going to be alive, it’s like a thriller.

My teammates really want me to say it’s because of Rocky Balboa, but the truth is that a friend came up with it, And everyone started calling me Raqui. One fun fact is that only basketball people call me Raqui. Back home, my high school friends and family call me Raquel.

100% shovel the driveway

My uncle gave me the nickname ‘Tud’ a long time ago - no idea what the reason was.

Shovel the driveway.

Big Dog, and I got it because I call everybody big dog, so my teammates started calling me big dog.



athletics calendar 12/1


Women’s Basketball

Men’s And Women’s Track & Field

at New Hampshire Durham, N.H. 11 a.m.


Dakota Classic Fargo, N.D. 1 p.m.



vs Augustana (S.D.) Fargo, N.D. 2 p.m.



vs TBD (FCS Quarterfinal) Fargo, N.D. 2:30 p.m.

Men’s Basketball


at Indiana State Terre Haute, Ind. 4:30 p.m.



Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational Las Vegas, Nev.

Women’s Basketball


at Bradley Peoria, Ill. 7 p.m.

Men’s Basketball


vs East Tennessee State Fargo, N.D. 7 p.m.



Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational Las Vegas, Nev.

Women’s Basketball


BISON ILLUSTRATED d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 9

vs Wisconsin Fargo, N.D. 2 p.m.

12/11 Men’s Basketball at CSU Northridge Los Angeles, Calif. 9 p.m. CT

12/15 Women’s Basketball vs Mayville State Fargo, N.D. 2 p.m.

12/16 Men’s Basketball vs Montana State Fargo, N.D. 7 p.m.

12/20 Men’s Basketball at Marquette Milwaukee, Wis. 8 p.m.

12/22 Women’s Basketball vs Waldorf Fargo, N.D. 12 p.m.

12/29 Women’s Basketball at Denver Denver, Colo. 2 p.m.

Coming Up In January 1/1 Wrestling Southern Scuffle Chattanooga, Tenn.

1/2 Wrestling Southern Scuffle Chattanooga, Tenn.

1/2 Women’s Basketball vs Western Illinois Fargo, N.D. 5 p.m.

1/2 Men’s Basketball vs Western Illinois Fargo, N.D. 8 p.m.

1/5 Men’s Basketball vs Northland College (Wis.) Fargo, N.D. 2 p.m.

1/8 Women’s Basketball at Oral Roberts Tulsa, Okla. 7 p.m.


Ryan Cobbins

Men’s Basketball at Oral Roberts Tulsa, Okla. 7 p.m.

1/10 Wrestling vs Wyoming Fargo, N.D. 7 p.m.

the ross


Uglem is a native of Northwood, North Dakota, and covers NDSU basketball and football for Bison Report, a division of 247 Sports.

BY ross uglem



those in the media more optimistic than most (read: Uglem, Ross), had this group pegged at 11-1. It’s difficult after all, to go undefeated. Think of all the great NDSU teams. Think of all the great NDSU players. So few of them actually achieved an undefeated season. I was in school for NDSU’s initial Division I run. It was such a wild time because we all knew ultimately there would be no payoff, at least not a payoff in the sense of a championship. Even with that understanding, man, there were some great players and some great wins. People remember Tyler Roehl, Steve Walker (of early Bison Illustrated fame), Joe Mays and Ramon Humber. People remember the FBS wins over Central Michigan (what an epic destruction that was), Ball State and Minnesota. Beyond that, though, Kole Heckendorf, Nate Safe, Kyle Steffes, Nick Schommer, Matt Gratzek and John Richardson were awesome players. The comeback win over Sam Houston State was tremendous. So were the victories over Cal Poly, UC Davis and Georgia Southern. Those Bison laid the foun-


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dation for Division I NDSU Football. Their peak? Two 10-1 seasons. The second season ended in Brookings with a potential bowl game invite on the line at 10-0. Going undefeated is really hard. Carson Wentz is arguably the most talented player in FCS history not named Jerry Rice. Wentz was the highest draft pick in the history of the subdivision. He had really talented teammates and quarterbacked NDSU to victory in two FCS championship games. NDSU’s record during those two seasons? 15-1 in 2014 and 13-2 in 2015. Going undefeated is really hard. Since 1982, only Eastern Kentucky (1982), Georgia Southern (1989), Marshall (1996), and North Dakota State (2013, 2018) have competed in the playoffs and gone undefeated. There has never been an undefeated champion in FCS that has defended their title with an undefeated season. No one in the FBS has done it since Nebraska and Tom Osborne did it in 1994 and 1995. Let’s be clear: when this edition of Bison Illustrated goes to print, the Bison will not have a National Championship yet. They may not win it all, though they seem to be prohibitive favorites to do so.

PHOTO BY Nolan P. Schmidt

is this all

10-2. 9-3.

The “Baby Bison” shouldn’t be doing this. Trey Lance had never started a game. Phoenix Sproles and Christian Watson had career receptions. Combined. The offense lost two Los Angeles Chargers and a Green Bay Packer. Robbie Grimsley graduated with his name all over NDSU’s record books, as did Greg Menard. Jabril Cox was starting next to two complete unknowns at linebacker. We haven’t even talked about the Ja(ylaa)en’s yet. This should have been one of those one or two-loss teams like in 2012, 2014, or 2016. This group wasn’t ready. Turns out, we were all wrong. They were perhaps more ready than any iteration of the Bison before

them. Let’s take a quick look at the raw numbers. I think the most confusing thing about this season and the numbers above is that those were “groups”. They were groups that grew together. Brock Jensen, Trevor Gebhart, Marcus Williams and Cole Jirik had thousands of snaps together against tough opponents before they could become the 2013 squad. Easton Stick, Darrius Shepherd, Robbie Grimsley and Greg Menard had

thousands of snaps together against tough opponents before they could become the 2018 squad. The Baby Bison? They’re already those dudes. They’re already the bullies on the playground without having to go through the trials and tribulations of “growing up in the Valley”. They’re just that good, right now. Trey Lance is having a better statistical quarterback season than Steve Walker, Brock Jensen, Carson Wentz or

Easton Stick ever did. That is, of course, happening in his first full season. Christian Watson is having a better season in his first real action than any of Darrius Shepherd’s seasons except for his senior year. Michael Tutsie might already be the best player on the defense. These guys are better, sooner than we ever could have imagined. Because they’re that good, we have a real chance at witnessing FCS History. Four more wins and North Dakota State becomes the first program ever to defend an undefeated FCS championship with an undefeated FCS championship. Who would’ve ever guessed?



BY JOSHUA A. SWANSON *Swanson is a native of Maddock, N.D., a proud NDSU alum and a lifelong Bison fan.

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ou win some, you lose some. Unless you’re North Dakota State, then you just win them. You win them so much that you find yourself the topic of a Twitter debate between ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit and fans of the American Athletic Conference. In response to a claim that he’s SEC-biased in overlooking several one-loss Group of Five teams, including Boise State, Cincinnati and Memphis in favor of a three-loss Auburn squad, Herbstreit insinuated that those three 10-1 teams ranked Nos. 18, 19, and 20 in

In a high-minded Twitter dialogue – aren’t they all – the Bison somehow found themselves in a blender of sorts with four teams rated in the Top 25 of the FBS. It was Herbstreit that brought up the Bison. He’s a guy that knows more about college football than you, or I, ever will. Earlier in the weekend, the Bison were sprayed all across ABC’s primetime game of the week with fancy graphics packages and HiDef highlights in recognition of their second 33-game winning streak since 2012. Those are the two longest winning streak in FCS history. If the Bison end up raising another national championship trophy in Frisco, their eighth title in nine years, they’ll have entered a third calendar year since their last defeat. Such a feat would give NDSU a 37-game winning streak, tied with the great Yale teams of 1887–1889 and 1890–1893 for the third-longest streak in Division I history. And that’s boring? That’s the latest mantra being bandied about in some corners; that Bison fans are tired and bored with their historic success, and their team’s obnoxious habit of putting more years on those pesky, cluttered championship banners inside the Fargodome. Yes, sir, those same fans are complaining about having too much money, being way too happy and not having a care in the world. If you're a fan, you’d like to see NDSU move to FBS. You're curious how they’d compete against, say, the likes of Boise State, Cincinnati and Memphis. That

PHOTO BY Hillary Ehlen

History's Road Lays Before Us

the latest FBS poll would all lose to the Bison. On the surface, at least, it appears that’s what Herbstreit was implying.

isn’t fruit from the boredom tree. It’s a healthy vision. Many fans, this one included, take a special interest in comments like Herbstreit’s because those who follow college football at the highest levels think enough of NDSU to throw Twitter jabs saying the Bison would beat some of the best teams in the country. That’s far from boring. It’s the quintessential opposite of boring. It’s Maximus standing headstrong and fierce in Ancient Rome, demanding of the crowd, “Are you not entertained!” Of course, Maximus made it all the way to the Colosseum, his day’s version of The Rose Bowl, before meeting his fate. Meanwhile, NDSU goes about its business winning games and making history. Humbly, with quiet confidence, playing the game with crisp execution and discipline befitting of Eddie Robinson, Bud Wilkinson, and Tom Osborne. Nobody sets out and says, “Let’s win 33-straight football games … again” or, “How about we try and win eight national championships in nine years.” History is funny like that, and we’re living in it.

Winston Churchill once famously said, “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.” Churchill was a prolific writer. In fact, he was one of the most noteworthy and accomplished authors of the twentieth century. Churchill literally wrote, among other things, histories of both World Wars, himself playing a starring role in each. Churchill was being quite literal in his quote about history being kind to him. He understood history. As for the Bison, while perhaps not Churchillian, at least not yet, they too are writing their own history. History’s road is before us. Regardless of the foes in the way, however seemingly daunting and impossible winning at such a level rarely seen before in college football, this is the era of the Bison. The Bison losing would be a bigger story than any other team winning. It’s Notre Dame snapping UCLA’s historic 88-game winning streak, Douglas beating Tyson, North Carolina State toppling Phi Slamma Jamma. It’d be a 30 for 30. Everyone else is a bit player on this stage. The spotlight shines on the Bison.

I suspect this team, this program and its players and coaches, rise to the challenge, any tweets from Herbstreit or the College GameDay crew notwithstanding. The Bison aren’t playing bored. They aren’t focusing on history’s bigger road. They’ll leave that to us. You don’t, you can’t, win 33 games in a row, at any level, and all these championships by losing focus on what’s in front of you. There are too many obstacles on the road to history to outdrive your headlights. Churchill also said, “The problems of victory are more agreeable than those of defeat, but they are no less difficult.” For my part, give me the questions of victory, even if the answers lead to intense yet worthy debate. It’s better than asking the questions of defeat, like 'how do we catch North Dakota State?' Everybody up for the kickoff, the march is on.


the final


T 5 more

on the


Keep your eye on these rising Bison studentathletes in the near future.


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he downfall of this magazine is that we don’t have enough space to feature student-athletes from every sport. This is an 84-page magazine and with advertisements and other content, it leaves only 24 or so pages for a cover story. For me as the editor, that stinks.

percent from the field in her young Bison career and has scored in double figures five times so far in 2019-20. Cobbins is the type of talent that will help push Bison women’s basketball back to its former glory. She is one of the many new foundational pieces for this program. Syra Tanchin, Volleyball

I would profile each “rising” student-athlete on NDSU’s campus if I had space. Give me a 200-page magazine and I’d fill it with student-athletes like Jared, Tyree, Akealy and Batty. Take this for what it’s worth, but here are five more Bison that need recognition. There are certainly far more than five, but again, that pesky thing called a page count... Ryan Cobbins, Women’s Basketball Only a true freshman for Jory Collins and the Bison women, Cobbins is a name you will hear often in the coming seasons. The Kansas City, Kansas, native was Collins’ first recruit in his tenure at NDSU and she has proven to be an extremely talented young player. She has shot an efficient 41

The St. Michael, Minnesota, native has been a differencemaker for Jen Lopez and Bison volleyball in her freshman season. The outside hitter surpassed 200 kills on the season on a .150 hitting percentage. Tanchin’s kill mark is second-best on the Bison roster which is filled with plenty of talented hitters. Eclipsing over 200 total points in her true freshman season is a sign of things to come for Tanchin. Bison volleyball will welcome back all but one player from this year’s team and with young talent in Tanchin returning, 2020 looks like a great year to be a Bison.

Maleeck Harden-Hayes, Men’s Basketball There was a debate around whether or not HardenHayes would redshirt this season. However, when Dave Richman called his name against Kansas State in the season-opener, that discussion was laid to rest. There will be no redshirt for the Moorhead, Minnesota, product. Not only that, he has shown flashes of his talent in the minutes he has played so far. With his raw athleticism and long frame, Harden-Hayes possesses the skill and ability to be a star for Bison men’s basketball moving forward. Sure, Jason Miller will need to put some muscle on his lanky frame, but that will come in time. Once that occurs, watch out Summit League, Paige Vargas, Softball Just when the Summit League thought NDSU would take a step back in the circle, Paige Vargas stepped in. Now a sophomore, Vargas was the conference’s Freshman of the Year last season. That honor pales in comparison to her performance in the Summit League Tournament. Vargas pitched 21 consecutive innings for the Bison and went 3-0 with a 0.33 earned run average.

It was her performance that helped NDSU claim another Summit League Tournament championship. Vargas was named the tournament’s most valuable player. Look for Vargas to add to her trophy case over the next three seasons. Kobe Johnson, Football A lot has been made of NDSU’s stellar 2019 class in football. There have been players utilizing more than just their four-game max. This means several true freshmen are making an impact on this year’s Bison team. Whether on offense, defense or special teams, NDSU is fielding a talented bunch of youngsters. One cannot talk about that lot without mentioning Kobe Johnson. The Lawrenceville, Georgia, product has had two 100 rushing games for the Bison. He has also scored four touchdowns on the ground for NDSU. Perhaps most impressive is his performance on special teams. Johnson ran a kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown against Youngstown State this year. Safe to say, Bison football is good hands for the future.



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